September 9, 2013 - by
A new vehicle coverage is a wonderful thing, protecting your new ride from defects in material and workmanship for its first few years of life. It typically covers nearly all car components for a minimum of three years or 36K miles, whichever comes first, and even longer on some parts (like the drive train assembly). Most people realize that a new auto coverage does not cover items that require regular maintenance or replacement such as oil, filters, tires, windshield wipers, etc. Many, however, may be unaware that there hosts of things that can cause your protection to be totally voided or for the repair or replacement of a particular part to be denied under a claim.
That information is all contained in your documents, but how many people scour this paperwork for the fine details? The following information is meant for those who may be unaware of when a claim may not be honored or an entire protection plan may be voided. It pays to know these things to avoid being taken by surprise should the need arise for you to seek a protection plan and find that the payment will be coming out of your own pocket.
What Constitutes a Deal Breaker?
Maintenance – A warranty is a contract between you and your vehicle’s manufacturer or protection plan provider. It says that they will pay the cost of repairing specific items, but only if the automobile has been properly maintained. Following the maintenance procedures recommended by the manufacturer will lessen the risk of internal damage and reduce the likelihood of needed repairs.
This is important. If the carmaker recommends you change your engine oil every 6K miles and yours has gone 15K without an oil change you’ll be in trouble if you experience the need for engine repairs. The claim could easily be denied as a result of your not following recommended maintenance guidance.
Documentation – Not only do you need to perform recommended maintenance on your car for the coverage to be honored, but the steps you’ve taken also need to be documented in writing. If a required repair seems to be the result of improper maintenance, you may be asked to produce this documentation for the repair claim to be paid.
Protective Precautions – A new car protection plan can also be voided if you experience a situation requiring repair and do not take precautionary steps to protect the car from further damage. A good example is when a car overheats on the freeway, as indicated by the warning light on the dashboard telling you there is a problem. At this point, the car would be covered and the most prudent step is to call a tow truck and have the automobile brought to a repair facility. Most new car warranties include emergency roadside assistance that provides free towing.
If, however, you do not protect the vehicle from further damage by continuing to drive it and you experience an engine meltdown, forget about being able to claim that one under your protection coverage (and rightly so). Your coverage is voided! Get ready to pony up some big bucks for a new engine replacement!
Other Conditions Affecting Car Warranties
There is a long list of conditions that may void your coverage in part or in whole on a new vehicle and these should be avoided if you want to maintain coverage. These include such things as:
- Having a car severely damaged (or totaled) and being issued a salvage title.
- Evidence of street racing or any other car racing activities.
- Vehicle misuse, defined as anything other than normal operation.
- Environmental damage such as earthquake, flood or fire.
- Certain aftermarket modifications.
Having a protection plan does not necessarily mean that you are protected behind the wheel no matter what. You have to make sure that your automobile is maintained properly in order not to void your coverage plan.